Spotlight on Global Jihad (March 24-30, 2022)

Main events of the past week
  • The main event of the week was a shooting attack in Hadera, carried out by two ISIS-affiliated Arab residents of Israel. Two Border Police fighters were killed in the attack. ISIS posted an official claim of responsibility for the attack on its Telegram channel. Amaq News Agency, ISIS’s media arm, also issued an official statement. The claim of responsibility also mentioned the attack in Beersheba carried out several days earlier.
  • The battle for hearts and minds: ISIS-affiliated elements are attempting to leverage the terrorist attacks in Hadera and Beersheba in order to encourage ISIS supporters to carry out additional attacks in Israel.
  • In Syria and Iraq, the relatively low-intensity activity continued this week.
  • The Sinai Peninsula: Several attacks were carried out against forces of the Egyptian army and the Sinai Tribal Union. ISIS’s Sinai Province announced the death of Mus’ab Jamil Mutawe’, a Palestinian from Gaza who was previously an operative of Hamas’s military wing. He was a nephew of Yahya Sinwar, head of the Hamas political bureau in the Gaza Strip.
  • In Africa, the intensive activity continued. The epicenter of the activity was Nigeria, where ISIS carried out several attacks, including three suicide bombing attacks against Nigerian army forces carried out through the use of car bombs. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, ISIS operatives carried out attacks against the Congolese army and against Christian civilians. In Niger, an attack was carried out against the army forces, resulting in the deaths of seven soldiers.
  • In Somalia, operatives of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Shabaab organization carried out several attacks against army bases. One attack was carried out in the capital Mogadishu. At least 48 people were killed in a double suicide bombing against an army base in Beledweyne, in central Somalia. The fatalities included two parliamentary candidates.
Israel
Shooting attack in Hadera[1]
  •   At around nine o’clock in the evening of March 27, 2022, two terrorists drove to Herbert Samuel Street in Hadera. They got out of their car, armed with pistols, and shot and killed two Border Police fighters who were standing near a bus stop. Two other people were wounded. The terrorists seized the Border Police fighters’ weapons and continued shooting. Fighters of the Border Police undercover unit, who happened to be at the scene, spotted the terrorists and shot and killed them. Two members of the undercover force were wounded in the exchange of fire (Israel Police Spokesperson, March 28, 2022). Many weapons were found in the terrorists’ possession.
The terrorists’ weapons (Israel Police Facebook page, March 28, 2022)    The terrorists at the scene of the attack (security cameras, March 27, 2022).
Right: The terrorists at the scene of the attack (security cameras, March 27, 2022). Left: The terrorists’ weapons (Israel Police Facebook page, March 28, 2022)
  • The two perpetrators of the attack are Ayman Ighbariah and Ibrahim Ighbariah (sometimes mentioned as Khaled). The two men are cousins from Umm al-Fahm. Ibrahim Ighbariah was reportedly arrested in 2016 in Gaziantep in southern Turkey, about 30 km from the Syrian border, while en route to Syria to join ISIS (Umm al-Fahm Facebook page, March 27, 2022). According to the Israeli media, he was extradited to Israel, tried and imprisoned, and released following his confession and statement that he regretted his actions and undertook not to join the ranks of ISIS or any other terrorist organization. In a video disseminated on online networks, the two men documented themselves before leaving to carry out the attack, with an improvised ISIS flag visible in the background.
 Photo from the video that the two terrorists posted just before the attack (Telegram, March 27, 2022)  The two terrorists who carried out the shooting attack (Watan, March 27, 2022).
Right: The two terrorists who carried out the shooting attack (Watan, March 27, 2022). Left: Photo from the video that the two terrorists posted just before the attack (Telegram, March 27, 2022)
  •  ISIS posted an official claim of responsibility for the attack on its Telegram channel. Amaq News Agency, ISIS’s media arm, also issued an official statement. The claim of responsibility also mentioned the attack in Beersheba carried out several days earlier (Telegram, March 27, 2022).
Amaq News Agency’s statement (Telegram, March 27, 2022).      ISIS’s official claim of responsibility.
Right: ISIS’s official claim of responsibility. Left: Amaq News Agency’s statement (Telegram, March 27, 2022).
The battle for hearts and minds
  • ISIS-affiliated elements are attempting to leverage the terrorist attacks in Hadera and Beersheba in order to encourage ISIS supporters to carry out additional attacks. For example, the ISIS-affiliated Al-Dar’ al-Sunni Foundation (literally: the Sunni Shield) released a video entitled “The First Rain” (Awwal al-Ghaith, i.e., there will be more rain later), containing security camera footage that appeared in the media documenting the terrorist attacks in Hadera and Beersheba. ISIS’s former spokesman, Abu Mohammad al-Adnani, can be heard in the background, praising the perpetrators of the attacks (Telegram, March 28, 2022). The ISIS-affiliated Al-Murhafat Foundation released a video entitled “Photo Report – Palestine” containing images from the Israeli media documenting the attacks in Hadera and Beersheba (Telegram, March 28, 2022).
The video entitled “Photo Report – Palestine” (Telegram, March 28, 2022)    The video entitled “The First Rain.”
Right: The video entitled “The First Rain.” Left: The video entitled “Photo Report – Palestine” (Telegram, March 28, 2022)
 The Syrian arena

Syrian provinces (freeworldmaps.net)
Syrian provinces (freeworldmaps.net)

The Idlib region
  • This week, exchanges of artillery fire continued between the Syrian army and the rebel forces in the southern part of the rebel enclave in Idlib (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, March 25-28, 2022). Russian fighter jets carried out airstrikes north of Idlib (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, March 28, 2022).
The desert region (Al-Badia)
  • According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, in March 2022, ISIS operatives killed 24 Syrian soldiers and fighters of the forces supporting the Syrian army in four attacks carried out in the desert region (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, March 29, 2022). During the week, Russian fighter jets continued their airstrikes against ISIS targets in the Rasafah Desert, north of Idlib (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, March 26, 2022).
Deir ez-Zor-Al-Mayadeen
  • On March 24, 2022, ISIS operatives infiltrated an SDF compound in Al-Baghouz, abducted two fighters and killed them. They then exchanged fire with SDF fighters on the site, killing one of them. The operatives seized three rifles and an RPG rocket launcher, and left (Telegram, March 27, 2022).
  • On March 24, 2022, an SDF “spy” was targeted by gunfire in the Dhiban region, about 3 km east of Al-Mayadeen (Telegram, March 25, 2022).
Al-Hasakah region
  • There were exchanges of fire in the Al-Hawl camp where families of ISIS operatives are held, between the Kurdish SDF securing the camp and ISIS operatives in the area. Three camp detainees were killed, one of them a minor (Al-Jazeera, March 29, 2022).
 The Iraqi arena
Provinces of Iraq (Wikipedia)
Provinces of Iraq (Wikipedia)

Attacks by province[2]

Salah al-Din Province
  • On March 24, 2022, the home of a Tribal Mobilization commander was targeted by gunfire in the Al-Abaiji region, about 65 km southeast of Samarra. Two of his guards were wounded.
  • On March 22, 2022, mortar shells were fired at an Iraqi army base in Tamour, west of Tuz Khormato, about 100 km northeast of Samarra. Definite hits were identified.
Mortar shells being fired at an Iraqi army base (Telegram, March 23, 2022)
Mortar shells being fired at an Iraqi army base (Telegram, March 23, 2022)
Diyala Province
  • On March 22, 2022, an Iraqi army post was targeted by gunfire in the Al-Azim region, about 60 km north of Baqubah. One soldier was wounded and two vehicles were put out of commission.
Nineveh Province
  • On March 26, 2022, the security forces found bodies of four shepherds from the Shammar tribe about 90 km south of Mosul. They were reportedly abducted long ago by ISIS and were executed two days before their bodies were found (Shafaq News, March 26, 2022).
  • On March 26, 2022, ISIS operatives broke into the home of an Iraqi army “spy” near the Al-Qayyarah region, about 60 km south of Mosul. They interrogated and then executed him.
Al-Anbar Province
  • On March 25, 2022, an Iraqi army post near the border with Saudi Arabia was attacked. Two soldiers were killed and the site sustained damage.
Sinai Peninsula
ISIS’s activity
  • On March 29, 2022, an Egyptian soldier was killed in an attack carried out by armed men, apparently ISIS operatives, in the northern Sinai Peninsula (Shahed Sinaa al-Rasmia Facebook page, March 29, 2022).
  • On March 28, 2022, there were reportedly several casualties among the Sinai Tribal Union in the explosion of an IED in the Sheikh Zuweid region (Shahed Sinaa al-Rasmia Facebook page, March 28, 2022).
  • On March 27, 2022, ISIS operatives released a video documenting the execution of a “spy” from Al-Tawil, southwest of Sheikh Zuweid (Telegram, March 27, 2022). He was apparently a village resident abducted on March 20, 2022.
The resident of the Al-Tawil village before being executed (Telegram, March 27, 2022)
The resident of the Al-Tawil village before being executed (Telegram, March 27, 2022)
  • On March 26, 2022, an IED was activated against a Sinai Tribal Union vehicle in the Al-Mansoura region, south of Sheikh Zuweid. The vehicle was destroyed and the passengers on board were wounded (Telegram, March 27, 2022).
  • On March 26, 2022, Sinai Tribal Union fighters were targeted by gunfire near the Abu Lam’ah roadblock in Rafah. Two fighters were killed (Telegram, March 27, 2022).
  • On March 24, 2022, an IED exploded while Sinai Tribal Union fighters were searching for ISIS operatives south of Rafah. Four fighters were killed (Akhbar Sinaa al-Aan Facebook page, March 24, 2022).
Counterterrorism activity
  • An ISIS operative was reportedly detained by Sinai Tribal Union forces (Shahed Sinaa al-Rasmia Facebook page, March 28, 2022).
The detained ISIS operative (Shahed Sinaa al-Rasmia Facebook page, March 28, 2022)
The detained ISIS operative (Shahed Sinaa al-Rasmia Facebook page, March 28, 2022)
Video released by ISIS’s Sinai Province
  •   ISIS’s Sinai Province released a video showing a man codenamed Abu Shueib al-Ansari, apparently an ISIS commander, speaking to armed operatives. Among other things, he speaks about pledging allegiance to ISIS’s new leader and following him, and encourages the operatives to carry out jihad. The speaker also calls on Muslims around the world to join ISIS and follow the new leader, noting that the killing of the previous leader will not change the organization’s course of action. At the end of the video, the operatives pledge allegiance to the new leader (Telegram, March 24, 2022).
Operatives of the Sinai Province pledge    The speaker encourages his audience to continue jihad and calls on Muslims around the world to join ISIS.
Right: The speaker encourages his audience to continue jihad and calls on Muslims around the world to join ISIS. Left: Operatives of the Sinai Province pledge allegiance to the new leader (Telegram, March 24, 2022)
Yahya Sinwar’s nephew killed in the Sinai Peninsula
  • ISIS’s Sinai Province announced the death of Mus’ab Jamil Mutawe’, codenamed Abu Jamil al-Ghazawi, a Palestinian operative from Gaza. He was reportedly the nephew of Yahya Sinwar, the head of the Hamas political bureau in Gaza. Before he joined ISIS, Mutawe’ was a member of Hamas’s military wing, Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades. According to one of the sources, he served in Hamas’s naval commando unit (Telegram, March 26, 2022; @mahmouedgamal44 Twitter account, March 26, 2022).
Death notice issued by ISIS's Sinai Province for Abu Jamil al-Ghazawi (Telegram, March 26, 2022)
Death notice issued by ISIS’s Sinai Province for Abu Jamil al-Ghazawi (Telegram, March 26, 2022)
Summary of ISIS’s activity in the various provinces
  • An infographic published by ISIS summing up its activity around the world between March 17 and March 23, 2022, indicates that in this period, ISIS carried out 56 attacks in its various provinces in Asia and Africa, compared to 41 last week. The largest number of attacks was carried out in the Iraq Province (18). Attacks carried out in the other provinces: West Africa (17); Central Africa (6); Al-Sahel Province (5); Khorasan (i.e., Afghanistan) (3); Pakistan (1); Sinai (1); Syria (4); and Somalia (1). A total of 376 people were killed or wounded in the attacks, compared to 120 in the previous week. The largest number of casualties was in the Al-Sahel Province (290). The other casualties were in the following provinces: West Africa (48); Iraq (20); Central Africa (7); Sinai (5); Khorasan (3); Somalia (1); Syria (1); and Pakistan (1) (Al-Naba’ weekly, Telegram, March 24, 2022).
Summary of ISIS’s attacks (Al-Naba' weekly, Telegram, March 24, 2022)
Summary of ISIS’s attacks (Al-Naba’ weekly, Telegram, March 24, 2022)
ISIS attacks in recent months (according to ISIS data)

ISIS attacks in recent months (according to ISIS data)

ISIS activity in Africa[3]

Nigeria
  • This week, three suicide bombing attacks were carried out in Nigeria:
  • On March 28, 2022, an ISIS suicide bomber codenamed Ali al-Ansari detonated a car bomb among a Nigerian army force that was close to ISIS’s positions in Zanari, in northeastern Nigeria. After the explosion, ISIS operatives opened fire at the force. At least 10 soldiers were killed and wounded, and an armored vehicle was destroyed.
  • On March 24, 2022, during an exchange of fire between ISIS operatives and Nigerian army forces in Najimia, an ISIS suicide bomber codenamed Sayf al-Ansari detonated a car bomb among the soldiers. Several soldiers were killed or wounded, and two vehicles were put out of commission. During the clashes, a rocket was fired at a Nigerian army armored vehicle. It went up in flames and all the passengers on board were killed or wounded.
The suicide bomber Sayf al-Ansari (Telegram, March 25, 2022)    The suicide bomber Sayf al-Ansari (Telegram, March 25, 2022)
The suicide bomber Sayf al-Ansari (Telegram, March 25, 2022)
  • On March 23, 2022, during an exchange of fire between ISIS and a Nigerian army force in Aera, a suicide bomber codenamed Abu Maimuna al-Ansari detonated a car bomb near the troops. At least 10 soldiers were killed and wounded. Several vehicles were put out of commission.
The suicide bomber in the car bomb (Telegram, March 26, 2022)
The suicide bomber in the car bomb (Telegram, March 26, 2022)
  • On March 28, 2022, an IED was activated against a convoy of the Nigerian army and militias loyal to it near Wulgo, on the Nigeria-Cameroon border. Five fighters were killed, including a Nigerian army commander and a militia commander.
  • On March 28, 2022, mortar shells were fired at a Nigerian army force near Zanari, in northeastern Nigeria. According to ISIS, definite hits were identified.
  • On March 26, 2022, fighters of militias loyal to the Nigerian army were targeted by gunfire in Shimbalua, in northeastern Nigeria. Three militia fighters were killed.
  • On March 26, 2022, an IED was activated against a Nigerian army vehicle in Najimia. The vehicle was put out of commission and the passengers on board were wounded.
  • On March 25, 2022, IEDs were activated against a Nigerian army patrol between Damboa and Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, in northeastern Nigeria. An armored vehicle was destroyed and several soldiers were killed and wounded.
  • On March 25, 2022, an IED was activated against a Nigerian army foot patrol in Malam Fatori, on the border area between Nigeria and Niger, in northeastern Nigeria. Two soldiers were killed and three were wounded.
  • On March 24, 2022, IEDs were activated against a Nigerian army patrol between Damboa and Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State. An armored vehicle and an ATV were put out of commission and the passengers on board were wounded.
  • On March 24, 2022, two vehicles and a communications pole of the Nigerian government were set on fire in Mainok, about 200 km west of the Nigeria-Cameroon border, in northeastern Nigeria.
  • On March 23, 2022, an IED was activated against a Nigerian army vehicle on the Sabon Gari-Wajiroko road, in northeastern Nigeria. The vehicle was put out of commission and the passengers on board were killed or wounded.
  • On March 23, 2022, an IED was activated against a Nigerian army foot patrol near the Wajiroko Bridge in northeastern Nigeria. At least five soldiers were killed and several others were wounded.
  • On March 23, 2022, ISIS operatives manning a temporary roadblock on the Comia-Azari road in Yobe State, in northeastern Nigeria, set fire to a truck of a man supporting the Nigerian government.
The truck set on fire (Telegram, March 25, 2022)
The truck set on fire (Telegram, March 25, 2022)
Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • On March 26, 2022, IEDs were activated against a Congolese army foot patrol in Mosso, in the Rwenzori region, in eastern Congo, not far from the border with Uganda. Several soldiers were killed or wounded.
  • On March 25, 2022, Christian civilians were targeted by gunfire on the Camango-Nobili road, near the Congo-Uganda border. One man was killed and another was wounded.
Niger
  • On March 23, 2022, a Nigerien army convoy was ambushed in the Tilbiri region, in the western part of the country. Seven soldiers were killed and several others were wounded. ISIS operatives seized weapons and ammunition, including heavy machine guns.
Activity of ISIS’s Sahel Province
  • ISIS’s Al-Naba’ weekly published an infographic summing up the activity of the Sahel Province between March 9-21, 2022. According to the infographic, during this period, operatives of the province carried out five extensive attacks, resulting in the deaths of 290 people. The fatalities included 40 Malian soldiers and 250 members of the Khalas Azawad movement[4]. In the attacks, 16 vehicles were set on fire and operatives of the province seized around 20 vehicles (Al-Naba’ weekly, Telegram, March 24, 2022).
ISIS activity in the Sahel Province (Al-Naba’, Telegram, March 24, 2022)
ISIS activity in the Sahel Province (Al-Naba’, Telegram, March 24, 2022)
Somalia
  • Operatives of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Shabaab organization carried out several attacks against Somali army bases.
  • On March 24, 2022, a double suicide bombing attack was carried out at a base in Beledweyne, in central Somalia. At least 48 people were killed in the attack, including two candidates in the parliamentary elections currently being held. Dozens more were injured (The Long War Journal, March 25, 2022).
  • On March 23, 2022, a base in Mogadishu was attacked. Six security personnel were killed and three policemen were wounded (The Long War Journal, March 23, 2022).
Mali
  • According to a report issued by the French army, the military force operating in Mali killed 15 ISIS operatives on the Mali-Niger border (AFP, March 25, 2022). It should be noted that in recent weeks, ISIS operatives murdered about 400 civilians in the region (The Long War Journal, March 25, 2022).
Documentation of ISIS attacks
  •   ISIS’s Sahel Province released photos documenting the attack carried out by its operatives on March 21, 2022 against a Malian army base in Tissit, in the Gao region, about 130 km from the Mali-Niger-Burkina Faso tri-border area. Dozens of soldiers were killed in the attack and many others were wounded (Telegram, March 24, 2022).
ISIS operatives attacking a Malian army base (Telegram, March 24, 2022)   ISIS operatives attacking a Malian army base (Telegram, March 24, 2022)
ISIS operatives attacking a Malian army base (Telegram, March 24, 2022)
  •   ISIS’s Sahel Province released photos documenting the attack against members of the Khalas Azawad movement in the Minka region, in eastern Mali, near the border with Niger (Telegram, March 29, 2022).
Documentation of the attack against members of the Khalas Azawad movement (Telegram, March 29, 2022)   Documentation of the attack against members of the Khalas Azawad movement (Telegram, March 29, 2022)
Documentation of the attack against members of the Khalas Azawad movement (Telegram, March 29, 2022)
Algeria
  • The Algerian security forces detained several operatives of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in the Skikda and Jijel region, in northeastern Algeria. Many weapons were found in the detainees’ possession, including rifles, machine guns, hand grenades, RPG and rocket launchers (@war_noir Twitter account, March 26, 2022).
Weapons and ammunition that were seized (@ war_noir Twitter account, March 26, 2022)
Weapons and ammunition that were seized (@ war_noir Twitter account, March 26, 2022)
Tunisia
  • According to a spokesman for Tunisia’s national security apparatus, the security forces neutralized 150 squads of militants in Tunisia in the past six months (Reuters, March 26, 2022).
Afghanistan
  • Shots were fired at a Taliban roadblock in Bal Aam, in the Lugar Province. Two Taliban members were wounded (Telegram, March 28, 2022).
India
  • ISIS’s India Province released a video documenting operatives in India pledging allegiance to ISIS’s new leader. The speaker in the video, codenamed Abu Turab al-Hindi, who appears wearing a mask, says that ISIS’s operatives will avenge the blood of the slain leader and continue the jihad against the infidels (Telegram, March 25, 2022).
The pledge of allegiance (Telegram, March 25, 2022)    The pledge of allegiance (Telegram, March 25, 2022)
The pledge of allegiance (Telegram, March 25, 2022)
Turkey
  • On March 25, 2022, Turkish security forces in various parts of Istanbul detained 10 foreign nationals on suspicion of carrying out activity for ISIS (New Turk Post, March 25, 2022).
The United States
  • Xavier Pelkey, a US citizen from Maine, and two other minors, one from Kentucky and the other from the Chicago area, were detained by US security forces about a month ago on suspicion of plotting to carry out an ISIS-inspired suicide bombing attack against a Shiite mosque near Chicago. Weapons, improvised explosives, and ISIS flags were found in their homes. The three of them made contact with each other on social media (NBC and Daily Mail, March 25, 2022).

[1] For more information, see the ITIC’s Information Bulletin from March 29, 2022, “Two deadly ISIS-inspired terrorist attacks carried out in southern and central Israel”
[2] Mostly according to ISIS’s claims of responsibility posted on Telegram
[3] Mainly according to ISIS's claims of responsibility posted on Telegram
[4] A national movement for the liberation of Azwad, in northern and central Mali, whose supporters are members of the Tuareg tribes.